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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why am I constantly fatigued and in pain?

    For the past ten years or so, I have been constantly tired. I have seen 3 different doctors in this time and none have been able to give me any definite answers. I was participating in sporting activities 5 days per week for at least 1.5 hours per day, but now am lucky if I can manage one half hour session per week due to exhaustion and the subsequent pain it causes all over my body.

    As exercise has gotten so hard, I have put on a significant amount of weight and am now obese. My blood sugar and lipids are normal, iron levels were low but have been corrected, as have my vitamin d levels. I have a constantly elevated ESR and take an antihistamine daily. I have had numerous skin rashes and have occasional alopecia. I have been told I have a positive RF and ANA. I have been hospitalised numerous times in the past fifteen years with ideopathic odemas, mostly on my face. Nobody can give me answers and I am tired of being told to take ibuprofen.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Kristen Ross

    Counsellor, Kinesiologist

    Kristen Ross is a qualified Kinesiologist, Counsellor and Sports Therapist.Affinity Wellness is her holistic wellness practice offering a holistic wellness experience by focusing on all … View Profile

    You seem to be very frustrated by the issues you are currently facing. 
    Have you investigated whether the onset of your isues was due to adrenal fatigue? Participating in sports at a high level on a consistent basis can lead to an overload of the adrenals and it can take a while for your body to recover. It helps to understand the cause of your illness when looking for treatment options. 
    Also, have you looked at your diet? I don't mean just looking at the levels, but I mean looking at a full overhaul of your diet, increasing your nutrient intake through organic foods and decreasing your intake of processed foods and grains, you can aid this process by utilising the help of a practitioner who specialises in nutritional medicine or naturopathy. 
    You may also want to look into what energetic blockages may be present and consider seeing a Kinesiologist, TCM practitioner or someone who works with energy medicine who can help you understand how the body's energy systems work and approach your condition from that perspective. 

  • 3


    Dr Adam Gavine


    I am a chiropractor who specialises in Active Release Techniques and instrument assisted soft-tissue treatment. I have a keen interest in everything nutritional as I … View Profile

    Kristen and Dianne have given you very good advice. The most important thing for you to do is come up with a specific diagnosis. Coming up with the correct diagnosis can be a long and difficult journey for some. In your case I would suggest getting some functional pathology testing done to look at your hormone levels.

    I would start with looking at your thyroid hormones, these include: total T4, free T4, total T3 and free T3. The most important of these is free T3 because it is the workhorse of the four. To test these hormones a blood test is usually required. I would go online to find out what the optimal levels of these hormones are for a woman of your age. Often doctors only compare your levels to a sick or diseases population which means they could say your levels are fine when in fact you are much closer to a diseased state then an optimal functioning state. Your body works much better when it is closer to the optimal levels. Studies in the United States estimate that one in eight woman will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime.

    Another important hormone you may want to get checked out is cortisol. As Kristen mentioned adrenal fatigue is a common problem in our modern stressed out lives. Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress, it's a fight or flight hormone. Cortisol follows a circadian ryhthm which means it changes throughout the day. It should be high in the morning which helps us get up and go, then it should be low at night when we are slowing down to get ready for sleep. Unfortunately some people stay in an over stress situation for far too long forcing the adrenal gland to work and pump out cortisol non-stop. This can lead to a reciprocal cortisol rhythm, low cortisol in the morning which results in you feeling tired even when you've had a full nights rest; and high cortisol at night which leaves you feeling tired and wired at night making it difficult if not impossible to fall asleep. If this process goes on for long enough you end up with adrenal fatigue, which means your adrenal glands have been working so hard for so long that they have crapped out. Adrenal fatigue can be fixed but it often takes several months and most people need help from a qualified naturopath or functional medicine doctor to figure out how to fix it. To test cortisol a 24 hour salivary test can be conducted, you take a swab of your mouth in the morning, afternoon, and night.

    There are a few other hormones that you may want to have examined such as oestrogen, progesterone, dopamine, and serotonin.

    Sleep and nutrition are two massive components to feeling well. Ideally we are designed to get between 8-9 hours sleep per day. Proper nutrition such as removing highly processed foods from your diet, and eating plenty of healthy fats and protein are also essential to health and vitality.

    Hope this helps. 

  • 1


    A chiropractor of 20 years experience utilising the Network chiropractic technique which is gentle, relaxing and profoundly effective with no cracking/crunching of the spine. Network … View Profile

    Hello Kristen

    There is a good chance that you have fibromylagia. I saw a personal trainer with similar probelms. He went from a full on training schedule to not able to do any training at all due to the pain and fatigue that resulted. Fibromyalgia is common affecting up to 10% of women especially as they get a bit older and it often goes undiagnosed for years.

    There is no medical solution to this problem that I have seen, but focus on restoring proper body function at the neurological control level and at the cellular level often yeild appreciable improvements in a reasonable time frame - from my clinical observation.



  • 2


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that all of the clinical health professionals have offered you good suggestions.

    However, I disagree with one point that Dr Gavine made (the rest of his suggestions are good) : " adrenal fatigue is a common problem in our modern stressed out lives."

    Adrenal fatigue is not a recognised medical condition though it is a label which is often used, with no clinical evidence, by practitioners of alternative or complementary medicine.

    There is nothing in PubMed (the database of peer-reviewed papers used by biomedical and clinical health professionals) which supports the notion that adrenal fatigue exists.

    See for more on this.

  • 1


    Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    Chronic fatigue and pain can often be complex as mechanisms are poorly understood. However one thing that is clear from client experience is individuals respond differently, so something that works for person may not work for another.

    There is some evidence supporting a graded exercise programme to improve energy levels and wellbeing…take a look at this resource:

    It is also important to address sleep, diet and stress. I have also had some clients swear by Coq10 supplements, but as mentioned everyone responds differently.

    Good Luck!!!

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